Strong and stable economic management

Who are they kidding ?

It is so easy to make promises. The Conservatives have presented themselves over time as the party of sound economy. Not so when you examine them closely.

They have moved backwards and forwards between caring and austerity as the mood takes them.  Just take a look at a major plank of the economy as they see it - the elimination of the deficit, the gap between income and expenditure that increases our national debt.

George Osborne in 2010 said they would eliminate the deficit by 2015. Well, there's a good start!

The Conservative manifesto of 2015 on Page 9 says "...ensure that debt keeps falling as a share of  GDP and to deliver a balanced  structural current budget in 2017-18, meeting the new fiscal mandate that Parliament voted on earlier this year."
A little later (by then not restrained by those inconvenient Liberal Democrats), George Osborne, in his budget speech in July 2015, said they would eliminate the deficit by 2020.

The 2017 Conservative manifesto, on page 64, reports that "we will continue to aim for a balanced budget by the middle of the next decade" - so that's 2025.

2010, 2015, 2017, 2020 .. oops, 2025.

It's no way to run an economy; it's almost as if they don't know what they are doing.

We can look at many other aspects of their understanding of how the world works - immigration for one.

In the latest manifesto, in line with populist appeal to some of the press and its readers, they propose to cut migration to under 100,000.  As Liberal Democrats we think this idea is wrong-headed. On average, immigrants are a benefit to our economy; many are essential to services such as the NHS.

Sir Michael Fallon has admitted on television that the Conservatives have not costed this aim, one of their key manifesto promises, to reduce immigration by two-thirds. He was forced to admit that they did not even know how much a proposal to double the Immigration Skills Charge (for non EU migrants) would cost the economy.

The Conservatives are giving themselves some wriggle room on this by saying they don't know because they don't know what Brexit will look like. Well, they claim to know enough to go all out for it and persuade us it will be a wonderful thing.

They really don't have a clue.

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